Click Here To Purchase Tiptoe Through Tasmania

Author: Janice Anderson, illustrated by Oliver Burston

Publisher: Brainy Books Publishing House, Inc.

ISBN:  978-0-9832791-0-5


Combine a love for rip-roaring adventure with care for the environment and you have a thoughtful and intriguing work, Tiptoe through Tasmania, written by an experienced author, Janice Anderson, who is as much into fostering a love for especially the endangered species on our planet as she is into getting youngsters enthralled by reading. The first in a series of Around the World Adventures, which is aimed at encouraging awareness of especially the most vulnerable of our animals among middle-school readers, the novel is exciting from start to finish, and should be sufficient inducement to get any young boy or girl excited about the possibilities of exploring the world out there.

 The two boys, Jaden and Max, who are transported to various parts of the globe by their Uncle Teto in his one-of-a-kind super sleek flying submarine are likely to portray at least some of the elements to be found in Anderson’s own two sons, although one can only hope that the novels to come have one or more female characters too. Anderson’s strong naturalistic bent can be seen in her vivid and evocative descriptions of the surrounding landscape. That Uncle Teto lives in Bodega Bay is no small coincidence—the author currently resides in the city of Santa Rosa, which is just a half an hour inland from the small coastal town. A sample of her power to sum up the essence of her environs can be seen in her telling of how the “steep rocky cliffs, fierce undertow, sudden sleeper waves, and presence of great white sharks can make it unsafe.”

 Anderson has the skill to make the strange and exotic immediate and suspenseful. Tasmania, too, as the destination for the boys’ trip, despite its being right on the other side of the world, is brought close to the reader by the lively responses of the boys to all that they encounter. The comforting aspect of all three main characters being closely related to one another is also reassuring. The appreciation of the richness of other cultures is clearly shown in the sensitive way in which Anderson describes the boys’ encounter with a small group of Aborigines. Although clearly from a different culture, the latter are shown to be wise and peace-loving individuals who “sway to the rhythm [of drumming] in their peaceful setting.”

 The plot itself is straightforward, telling of how the boys are given the task of vaccinating one or more Tasmanian Devils against facial tumor disease that threatens to wipe out the entire population. How Jaden and Max manage to do this by themselves is enough to keep youngsters on the edge of their beds during any sleepover.

 In addition to the fictional core of Tiptoe through Tasmania, fascinating facts about Tasmania and the Tasmanian Devil are also given throughout the book, which is beautifully illustrated with drawings by Oliver Burston. An appendix of “Fun Facts” also gives the most salient points on a range of “native critters,” of which some are to be found on the Australian mainland, rather than in Tasmania itself, including crocodiles, funnel-web spiders, echidnas, jack jumper ants, and platypus. Interesting geographical facts about the Bass Strait that separates Tasmania from Australia and about the Bay of Fires, where the boys land, are also given, though it would be nice to have a map as well. Rounding off the “Fun Facts” are a few insightful pointers on Tasmanian Aborigines and the Tasmanian blue gum. 

A final strong point in favor of this book is that a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Save the Tasmanian Devil Program’s fundraising arm, the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal. So, if you’re environmentally aware, and would like your kids to be too, seriously consider buying a copy of Tiptoe through Tasmania.                   

Click Here To Purchase Tiptoe Through Tasmania